What is it about baseball that lends itself so naturally to rants? Probably the fact that players and managers meet with the media before and after 162 games over the course of six months, I guess. But that doesn’t explain why baseball men love to curse so damn much. When you combine that propensity for profanity with the constant presence of the media, that’s when you get a truly classic baseball rant.
Inspired by Manny Machado’s recent blow-up, let’s take a look at 10 of the best.
10. Ozzie Guillen
Only Ozzie could break out laughing in the middle of a rant like that.
9. Lou Piniella
What makes this one so great is the way Sweet Lou slowly works himself into a lather.
8. Manny Machado
Part of what makes this great is Machado never struck me as the kind of guy to unload like this.
7. Tommy Lasorda
It’s a wonder Lasorda didn’t bother to comment on the “fat little Italian” line.
6. Tim Belcher
Game 2, 1995 ALDS. Mariners reliever Tim Belcher comes on in the bottom of the 12th inning to protect a one-run lead. He walks Bernie Williams, allowing Jorge Posada to advance into scoring position, then gives up a game-tying double to Ruben Sierra. Belcher pitches two scoreless innings before allowing a walk-off homer to Jim Leyritz in the 15th. Then, this happened.
5. Earl Weaver
Weaver deserves a lifetime achievement award for his profane outbursts toward umpires, but this prank radio segment is as good as any of them.
4. Bryan Price
Price, peeved that reporters were breaking news, managed to drop 77 F-bombs in just over five minutes. Now that’s efficiency.
3. Wally Backman
As the manager for the South Georgia Peanuts, an independent league team that lasted just one season, Backman was the star of a documentary about the team. His total meltdown after an ejection is the most famous clip from the film, but if we’re limiting ourselves to off-field tirades, this total evisceration of his players is as good as it gets.
2. Hal McRae
The obscene rant accompanied by destruction of property is always a winning combination.
1. Lee Elia
Elia’s tirade laying into Cubs fans has been held up as perhaps the greatest MLB rant ever recorded. We owe Les Grobstein a massive debt for getting that tape.